The Guides and Scouts of Finland offers program to all its members between 7 and 22 years of age. Within the frames of this program, the Guides and Scouts are divided into five different age groups. The adults have a supportive role, they make possible for the children and young people to enjoy their hobby. This means all children from the age of 7, youngsters or adults can become Guides or Scouts!
Five Age Groups
Cub scouts: 7-10 years old
The Cub Scouts are 7–10-year-old, and they are organized in groups of 8–12 Guides/Scouts. The group is led by an adult Guide/Scout leader. The group meets weekly for its Cub Scout meetings which consist of learning and playing. In addition they go on short hikes and participate in camps and competitions.
Adventurers: 10-12 years old
Guides and Scouts between ages 10 and 12 are called Adventurers and work together in teams with 10–15 members. The team has adult leaders who take care of program activities. Children can also try out leadership by performing minor tasks during the team meetings. Adventurers explore different skills like first aid, cooking outdoors and cooperation with others.
Trackers: 12-15 years old
The Trackers are the 12–15 years old Guides and Scouts, organized in groups, girls and boys separately. The groups consist of 4–12 Guides/Scouts and they meet once a week. The weekly activities are led by a young leader (an Explorer, see below) but an adult Guide/Scout leader directs the activities and has major responsibility. The themes of the Tracker program are camping, creativity, survival and society.
Explorers: 15-17 years old
The Explorers are Guides and Scouts within the age range 15 to 17, and they are organized in small teams. In addition to the weekly meetings, the teams go hiking and participate in camps and other events. An adult leader supports the group and plan activities together with youngsters. The Explorers practice leadership by attending leadership training and leading a Tracker group.
Rovers: 18-22 years old
The 18–22-year-old Rovers work in project based groups consisted of 3-5 persons. The aim of the projects is to explore the home country as well as foreign cultures. They meet once or twice a month and they plan their own program by choosing from numerous activities. Each individual makes a personal development plan according to his/her own interests.
Within the Finnish Guide/Scout program, the term adult refers to Guides and Scouts older than 22. In the organization, the role of the adults is to support the growth and development of the children and young people. Thus, even though the Guides and Scouts of Finland is a youth organization, adults play an important role in the movement. It is never too late to join or re-join the Guides and Scouts!
Photo: Atte Kesti